If you’re of English-speaking origin, chances are Christmas just isn’t the same without mince pies. This recipe is adapted from two much loved British chefs — Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood — brimming with festive fruit and spice.
Photographs: Natasha Liviero / Unsplash.com
Text: Natasha Liviero
(Makes approximately 20 pies)
Ingredients for fruit mince:
260g raisins, seedless and multi-coloured, chopped
100g dried cranberries, chopped
50g mixed peel
115g dark brown sugar
100g apple, peeled, cored and grated
25g blanched almonds, finely chopped
1 lemon, grated and juiced
1 clementine/orange, grated and juiced
4g mixed spice
100g brandy or alcohol of your choice
Ingredients for pastry:
380g plain flour
260g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
pinch of salt
125g castor sugar
1 large egg
1 small egg, beaten for glazing
white sugar for sprinkling
For the fruit mince, place all the ingredients, except the alcohol, into a pot.
On medium-low heat, mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon.
Once the butter has melted, gently simmer for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and making sure the mixture doesn’t dry out. Set aside to cool.
Add the alcohol, mix and set aside until pastry is ready. Alternatively, prepare the mixture in advance and store it in sterilised jars in a cool room.
For the pastry, heat the oven to 1800C. Prepare two 12-hole regular-sized muffin trays with baking spray.
Place flour and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter, and with your fingers, work it into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles sea sand.
Add the sugar and mix through.
Add the egg and work the dough until the egg is fully incorporated and the dough just comes together (add a splash of water if need be). You can do this in a large bowl or on a floured surface. Do not over-work the dough.
Shape the dough into two balls. Flatten, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Prepare two round cookie cutters: one for the cups (approximately 2cm wider than the top of your muffin cup) and one for the lids (to fit neatly on top of the muffin cup). Roll out the dough 3-4 mm thick; cut out circles for the cups and press into the muffin holes. Fill each muffin cup with approximately 2-3 Tbsp fruit mince. Do not overfill.
Cut out the lids and carefully brush the edge of each pie with egg wash before placing the lid on top. Gently push down to seal. Use a palette knife to neaten the edges. At this point, you can add a decorative star to the centre of each pie.
Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Then, with a sharp knife, make a small cross in the centre of each pie.
Bake for 20-22 minutes or until light golden brown. While still hot, add another sprinkling of sugar to the tops.
Cool for five minutes before removing the pies from the muffin trays onto a cooling rack.